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Translation of
Sefer zikaron le-esrim ve-shalosh kehilot
she-nehrevu be-ezor Svintsian

(Švenčionys, Lithuania)


Project Leader: Anita Frishman Gabbay
JewishGen Liason/Advisor: Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

This project is being initiated in order to fund the translation of Sefer zikaron le-esrim ve-shalosh kehilot she-nehrevu be-ezor Svintsian “Svinzian region; memorial book of 23 Jewish communities”. The book was edited by Shimon Kanc and published 1965 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The goal is to eventually provide a complete translation of this book. It is partly in Yiddish and partly in Hebrew and contains many photographs.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots to Švenčionys and its environs constitute the primary audience for this material. The material has the potential to have broader appeal to scholars interested in the region or specializing in Jewish history and society.

Project Importance

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on what was once vibrant towns, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after World War 11 by emigres and Holocaust survivors, Yizkor Books contain narratives of the history of the towns, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and the gripping stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century. They also contain firsthand accounts of the events of the Holocaust related to their specific town. The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps, murdered in mass executions, or died in the forests are not recorded elsewhere.

Survivors, descendants of survivors, as well as descendants of those who emigrated from Švenčionys prior to the war are known to exist in Israel, the United States, Argentina and other countries. This Yizkor book is a major source for documented history of the towns and its Jewish population, and will result in the creation of a primary English language source of information for anyone doing research on the towns and its Jewish community.

Project Description

As funds become available, Hebrew and Yiddish pages will be translated into English by a professional translator.

The project coordinator will select the order in which the chapters will be translated and will work closely with the translator to ensure a grammatically correct and idiomatic translation. Those donating funds to the project will be given the opportunity to select the chapters of interest for priority in translation. Photos from the Yizkor Book will be paired with captions and translations wherever possible.

Estimated Cost

A full translation is currently estimated to cost $20,000.


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